There was a great comment today from ‘That Girl‘ On my Meshulchim post.

It took a few read overs to get the full gist of what she was saying. Just three words, yet a books worth of meaning.

Who am I? Who are any of us? What makes us us? Are we simply the products of the types of homes we were raised in? Are we more the products of our educational environments? Are we molded by the books we read, the people we associate with? Is it the jobs we choose, the career that culminates in an expression of our personalities? Is it fair to define a person by the impression they give off? What if you judged someone by the clothes they wear? Is that fair, since after all, some people feel they need to constrain their clothing choices to the society they feel a part of. Some people would dress different if they had the money. I have a Marc Jacobs jacket, but I bought it on ebay. If you judged me on that jacket, you’d assume I’m far richer (and arguably more fashionable) than I am. Bloggers such as Hassid and Heretic blatantly drive home the point with a sledgehammer that what you see represents not what is in the mind. Frum Satire likes hair metal, yet he isnt an imbecile and can write intelligently.

Are we the sum of our parts, or just the part of that sum we choose to reflect?

So who am I? Apparently, the verbally rambling man.

17 Responses to “WHO ARE YOU?”

  1. They say that the most intellectual of folks like Jazz and Classical and the least intelligent listen to metal- probably cheesy hair metal with guys dressed up ass women and teased hair.

    But hey Punk rock aint to clever either, oh wait I like punk as well, although I go for the cheesy punk with horns- which some may call skunk, or ska offshoots such as reel big fish and less than jake.

    Most people could be judged on music however, some cannot, but most can- especially Jewish girls. By the way I went out with a bais yaakov of Maimi punk rock girl once- yes wierd indeed, and now she reads my blog years after the initial event

  2. Hesh you chamelon. It’s all tounge in cheek. As for punk not being clever, I’ve seen bands like Bad Religion referred to as “theasaurus punk”.
    In my opinion, the guys who profess to only listen to jazz or classical are just more pretentious as opposed to more intelligent than the rest of us. Not that theres anything wrong with either. I get a kick out of seeing alt-Jazz done live, though I don’t listen to it at home. Jazz loses something without a crowd of beatniks.

  3. Dude, Aristotle answered this question like a million years ago. Even the big rabbis admit he was pretty smart. But hay, if you want to tackle this heavily philosophical question, go ahead. Just don’t think of telling me what to do after you start your own religion.

  4. the least intelligent people listen to top 40 actually.

  5. “Aristotle answered this question like a million years ago. Even the big rabbis admit he was pretty smart”

    I had a Rabbi tell me Aristotle converted to Judaism before he died.

    Where do Rabbis come up with this stuff?

  6. An age old question. Also plays into the “nature vs. nurture” arguement, in which I don’t think either side ends up winning. They both are so important in a person’s make up and in different quantities depending on the individual.
    Me personally, I’m kind of a quiet person unless I’m with people I know very well or in a one on one situation.
    The way I dress is tznius but I have my own “non frummy” style most of the time.
    I think of myself as being pretty intuitive of what people are thinking about me and so I can usually tell when people are thinking “quiet and out of it” or “not as frum as her parents and sisters.”
    I wouldn’t say that the type of music I listen to shows very much about me.
    I guess for me the thing that people could use to judge me most accurately are the types of books I like to read.

  7. Wow, I spawned a whole post! How flattering!

    However, you really just asked what defines people. Without a conclusive answer, and only knowing what GENERAL GENRE of music you listen to, I still don’t have a clue who you are.

    The music theory is interesting but really holds some of the same problems as the clothing issue. For example, if you want to talk about the musical aspect, I am all about the punk rock (on the lighter end of things. I even like emo and ska, but I CANNOT handle anything hardcore..except Yidcore once and a while, and that is more for a laugh.) But in terms of what I actually listen to? If you looked through my ipod, sure you would learn something of me. And SkaKotel would be a good clue. But there is a world of music I don’t listen to because I don’t trust myself in that headspace. But when you look at it and try to figure me out, it would just be missing. You wouldn’t even notice the gap.

    I’m sure the same holds true for others as well.

    I would have said it nicer, but its true, we are our choices. (Best insult: “You make bad decisions.”)

    You have not yet chosen to reveal yourself.
    Why not?

    ps I liked the term thesaurus punk. Tee hee. 🙂

  8. “What really matters is what you like, not what you are like.”
    – High Fidelity

  9. I was actually being partially sardonic when I made this post. “WHO ARE YOU” is a decently blunt question for a first comment. After all, we’ve only just met…

    Obviously I got into the idea as I went along with the post. And now, I begin the customary comment addressing:

    childIshbehavior: Yes, but Aristotle wasn’t on the curriculum at my Yeshiva high school. If my heiligeh rebbeim deemed him unworthy of being taught, who am I to go against their decision? If I do end up starting my own religion (a faint possibility) I won’t force you to join, but be aware you won’t get into heaven. Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

    stacy: I’d say it’s like the opposite of Frum Hikers classical example. Top 40 listeners may give off the impression of being less intelligent in a ditzy sort of way, but I’d hesitate to say they’re actually stupider than others. They just have a simpler taste in music and are not all that into music.

    Anita: Thats just stupid. Did you call him out on it?

    starr: Interesting self-analysis. I wouldn’t even say the books I read prove something, as I’ll read anything that can hold my interest. I loved Time magazines write up on Vladmir Putin and the current state of the former Soviet Bloc, but you’d be very incorrect to say I’m heavily into international politics.

    Frum Funky Fab (slightly eidel): I’m a punk. I love punk. I don’t exclusively listen to punk.

    Yidcore is awesome. I used to play their album on Purim in yeshiva.

    As for revealing myself: I’d rather not. I couldn’t deal with the attention of being an international celebrity. The last thing I need when going to buy some cholent on Thursday night is whispers of “is that frum punk?” “I think it is.” “Ask him for his autograph.” “No you.” “Wow, I can’t believe he eats here just like regular people!”
    And there’s an ugly side to it. The Agudah outlawed blogs, right? I reveal myself and next day my tires are slashed, my house is kugeled, and my face is splashed all over the Yated, Hamodia and Mishpacha with sublines declaring me to be the cause of both the shidduch crises and kids at risk.

    I have, however, revealed enough general information about myself so people who know me could figure out who I am. Plus two pictures.

    Jessica: Great book, movie was alright. I felt like it should have been better. Much like ‘About A Boy’ (Nick Hornbys second best book.)

  10. I saw “About A Boy”… never read it though. Wasn’t a big fan of the movie, though books are usually better, so I should probably give it a chance. You didn’t like “High Fidelity” (movie)?! I loved it! But I agree, the book was much better.

  11. Am I the only one that feels like someone different every few hours or so? Like sometimes I feel like the frummiest aidel maidel, sometimes there is no doubt in my mind I’m a cynic and a rebel. Sometimes I feel like Supermom and others like the world’s biggest slacker. It also depends on who I am with or what I am doing. But I wouldn’t say that the concept of “me” is a set one- it fluctuates.

  12. I think that music probably categorizes people socially rather than according to intelligence. I actually know lots of resaonably intelligent people who listen to Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne. I myself still listen to Spice Girls occasionally, and i have just recently stoped being ashamed. I may write a post about the sociological symbolism of the Spice Girls some day. Not today though.

    As to the rest of it – it’s as John Cusack says in High Fidelity: “It’s not what you ARE like, it’s WHAT you like that matters.” Actually, when it comes to the power of music as social categorizer, High Fidelity is kind of the ultimate source. Everyone go watch it now.

    Also, all truly intelligent, or at least musically sensitive people know that the quality o music is not dependent on the genre, and that every genre has music that is truly amazing, and music that stinks. It’s really more about the individual artist. That’s why the most talented musicians don’t write music exclusively in one genre – bc to be a true artist, you need to be able to do more.

    The question of identity via clothing is a much larger and more complicated issue which, I think, deserves a post of its own. Stay tuned.

  13. FrumHiker wrote: “Most people could be judged on music however, some cannot, but most can- especially Jewish girls.”

    Oh, reeeaaally? (just bustin’, man)

    Frum Punk, I like your blog, and your header artwork. that’s neat. I’d probably have tzitzis instead of crossbones, but I haven’t had tzitzis since the boys told me I wasn’t allowed to wear them when I was in nursery school. (boo hoo hoo!)

    Thesaurus punk is an awesome term (new to me). Greg Graffin sends me to the dictionary, and I love it. Are they on or off warped, this year, do you know?

    Anyway, chag sameyach, and cheers.


  14. My headers change often. This one just went up this morning actually.
    Bad Religion isnt on for this year, sadly.

  15. ooh, just checked out the current lineup on the warped site. looks like I’m skipping it, this year. Too bad, too. It was great, a few years ago. ((CIV))

  16. warped tour pretty much sucked the last few years.
    lollapalooza however will be awesome. radiohead, explosions in the sky, wilco, the raconteurs, steven malkmus…ect

  17. fff(se), br dictionary’s good stuff: http://members.shaw.ca/brlexicon/
    words from lyrics, just like I pictured it, skyscrapers and everything ;tongue:

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